All vessels destined to a Canadian port must ensure that they have a valid contractual arrangement in place with the certified oil spill response organization in their region prior to arrival in Canadian waters.

On the West Coast of Canada, the certified response organization is Western Canada Marine Response Corporation. The reference to this requirement falls under the Canada Shipping Act 2001 Part 8 - Pollution Prevention and Response - Department of Transport and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and reads as follows:

167 (1) Subject to subsection (2), every prescribed vessel or vessel of a prescribed class shall

(a) have an arrangement with a response organization in respect of a quantity of oil that is at least equal to the total amount of oil that the vessel carries, both as cargo and as fuel, to a prescribed maximum quantity, and in respect of waters where the vessel navigates or engages in a marine activity; and

(b) have on board a declaration, in the form specified by the Minister, that

(i) identifies the name and address of the vessel's insurer or, in the case of a subscription policy, the name and address of the lead insurer who provides pollution insurance coverage in respect of the vessel,
(ii) confirms that the arrangement has been made, and
(iii) identifies every person who is authorized to implement the arrangement.

The following is a map of the geographic area of response covered by Western Canada Marine Response Corporation:


For the purposes of this requirement, the Environmental Response Arrangement Regulations (ERAR) sets out the Prescribed Vessels Section 2(1)(a)(b)(c) in the ERAR to read that the following classes of vessels are prescribed for the purposes of section 167(1)(a)(b) of the CSA 2001: 

Prescribed Vessels

(a) oil tankers of 150 gross tonnage or more;

(b) vessels of 400 gross tonnage or more that carry oil as cargo or as fuel; and

(c) groups of vessels that are towed or pushed, are of 150 gross tonnage or more in aggregate and carry oil as cargo.

ERAR Classes of Vessels definition section 2(1)(c) considerations:

"groups of vessels that are towed or pushed, are of 150 gross tonnage or more in aggregate and carry oil as cargo”. Recognized “one unit” and as a prescribed oil tanker (vessel) for the purpose of the ERAR."

For information on how to register a vessel visit our Vessel Registration Procedures page and to check a vessel's registration status, visit the Vessel Status page.